In the News: Fracking has helped the United States improve oil and gas production, but the impact on the environment continues to raise concerns. Oklahoma has been hit by a series of earthquakes. Since fracking operations began in the state, seismic activity has increased by 5,000 percent. The September 3 shaker was just upgraded from a 5.6 to a 5.8 magnitude quake. About this photo: Map of Oklahoma earthquakes. View a much larger and more complete version of this map at the USGS. Photo credit: US Geological Survey

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Post 9/11 Wars Have Cost Almost $5 Trillion (Jeff C.)

An independent analysis by a professor of political science at Brown University has the tab at $4.79 trillion, and counting. It’s a nice bit of perspective for the next time your angry conservative uncle rages on Facebook about “out-of-control liberal spending.”

GOP’s Latest Obsession: Impeach IRS Commissioner (Russ)

Wrong guy at the wrong place at the wrong time? No matter–he’s red meat to the base.

UK Condemns 2011 Libyan Intervention (Dan)

Lawmakers put the blame on former Prime Minister David Cameron who “failed to develop a coherent Libya. strategy”

The Man Who Figured Out the Altruism Code? (Russ)

A strangely intriguing story of the Einstein of altruism.

Why Nuclear War Looks Inevitable (Trevin)

Smaller, “safer” weapons in concert with new US policy could be more tempting to use.